Eight goals, two red cards, a 95th minute equaliser and a never-say-die Gosport Borough spirit
Ryan Woodford fired a 95th minute leveller as Gosport Borough drew 4-4 with Dorchester in an astonishing Southern League Premier Division South encounter at rainswept Privett Park.
The centre half smashed in a close range effort with the last kick of a remarkable encounter as the hosts showed exceptional never-say-die spirit after a double dose of early adversity.
Though Dorchester are second bottom, Gosport were handicapped by playing most of the game with just 10 men - though numerical parity was restored in the 70th minute when the Magpies had their goalkeeper dismissed.
Only 11 minutes had elapsed when midfielder George Barker stupidly thrust his studs into Neil Martin’s chest after both men had ended up lying on the pitch.
Referee Sean Jenkins had no option but to issue a straight red card.
That was the second of two huge blows for Gosport, as they had four minute earlier fallen behind to Martin’s low shot from just inside the penalty area.
Amazingly, though, within 10 minute of Barker’s dismissal Gosport were 2-1 up.
First, Matt Paterson latched onto a Chris Flood flick on to cut inside his marker and cooly finish under the advancing Nick Hutchings.
Then, on 21 minutes, Flood had another assist when he set up the unmarked Liam Robinson to fire in a low shot.
Paterson should have made it 3-1 just before half-time but, six yards out, he fired a Rory Williams cross straight into Hutchings’ body.
Jenkins then incensed the home fans and players by refusing to give a penalty for a clear handball, with Paterson booked for a foul seconds after the referee had waved play on.
Gosport boss Lee Molyneux withdrew Robinson at half-time for tactical reasons, putting Hawks loanee Marley Ridge on in his place.
Within nine minutes, however, the managerless Magpies were in front.
Top scorer Thomas Bath latched onto a Franklyn Clarke through ball to level before winger Ben Morris lashed a loose ball past on-loan keeper Ben Dudzinski from just inside the Gosport penalty area.
Borough had a dose of good fortune when Bath was left with a tap in, but managed to slip over instead, before the hosts were handed a way back into the contest 20 minutes from time.
Hutchings - booked for timewasting minutes earlier - gave away a penalty for clattering into Ridge and was duly shown the second red card of the evening. That was also the end of Ridge’s involvement as, after lengthy treatment, he hobbled off to be replaced by Theo Lewis.
Dorchester brought on sub keeper Shane Murphy for Tom Purrington but his first job was to pick the ball out of the net after Paterson sent him the wrong way.
Billy Lowes was unmarked for the Magpies at the far post on 87 minutes but managed to fire his effort wide.
But seconds later the visitors were celebrating wildly after taking full advantage of a Dudzinski howler.
The keeper inexplicably failed to clear, leaving Bath to roll the ball into an empty net.
Gosport refused to give in, though, and in the last of the five minutes added on won a corner.
The ball found its way through to Woodford, who gleefully buried a low shot past Murphy to extend Borough’s run to just one loss in their last 11 league matches.
‘That was a great advert for non league football,’ said Molyneaux afterwards.
It was impossible to disagree with him.